Hong Kong Gov't Lays Down The Rules For Food Takeaway

Gov’t Releases New Set of Food Delivery Guidelines

The Food & Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) has released a guide for general hygiene and food safety concerning takeaway meals and delivery, according to a Nov. 30 press release.

The FEHD acknowledges that buying food online through the Internet, mobile applications, or social media has gained popularity amongst recent years.

“The FEHD understands that members of the public are concerned about the hygiene conditions during operation of food premises, online food delivery platforms and food deliverers, as well as food safety issues,” said a spokesperson for the FEHD.

As an attempt to standardize the industry practice, the FEHD has released a set of guidelines to observe when providing takeaway meals and order-delivery services. The practical guide applies to all related business operators, including food premises, online food platforms, food delivery agents, and food delivery platforms.

According to the guide, takeaway meals or delivery food should be kept at specific temperature windows as far as practicable during delivery. In essence, cold food must be at or below four degrees Celsius, and hot food above or at 60 degrees Celsius. All food should be delivered within one hour after preparing, with tamper-evident designs to prevent food tampering.

Storage compartments of vehicles used for delivering food should be thoroughly maintained before and after each delivery. Food premises and restaurant should also prepare food in time for delivery and avoid cooking far in advance.

Online food platforms or delivery platforms must retain a delivery record for 60 days for tracking, in case of a foodborne outbreak. Additionally, responsibilities between food establishments, online delivery platforms, and the delivery agent, should be set out in contractual agreements to handle customer complaints with more efficacy.

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